Proper form for decline bench pres

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Decline bench press form

Posted by Jason

I have a question about the decline bench press. I see many guys bring the barbell to their chest yet I have read on several occasions that the proper technique is to bring the barbell just below the neck.

In your opinion what method is the most beneficial and why?


Re: Decline bench press form

Posted by JHP


This is just my opinion but, on under no circumstances would I ever bring the bar to the neck on this movement or the flat bench version. For one, I think its just way too dangerous - what if you tire and do not have a spotter to help you out. When I do this movement, I simply bring the bar down to the nipple line or just below the chest muscles. I have no shoulder impingement from performing the movement that way. Bringing the bar to the neck just plain hurts........why bother forcing your joints to do something they don't want to do.

Also bare in mind - and this is just an opinion - there are some movements that people are not suited to. Your suitability to a movement can change over time depending on a lot of factors, like age, physical muscle size, joint and tendon problems and physical abnormalities.

I used to be able to use the press behind the neck. Now it just plain hurts my neck and my shoulders. I'm older and physically bigger than I was when I first started the movement. Sounds very simplistic but I believe this is true. I can still do curls, just not with a straight bar anymore. I opt for the EZ curl bar because is "easy" on the wrists and elbows.

I use a grip that has my arms perpendicular to the ground, when the bar in my chest. When I press the bar off my chest, once I'm at the top of the movement, the grip appears slightly wider than shoulder width. I also use a close grip on the movement occasionally to the triceps harder and go easier on the shoulder joints.

I certainly would never bench to the neck. Remember that just because you see some body in a gym doinga movement a certain way doesn't necessarily mean he (or she) knows what they're doing - even if they have 20 inch biceps...... Laughing

I've seen some amazing things in gyms over the years and what's more amazing is that people don't cripple themselves.

I follow the older styles of training. My dad was a weightlifter (not bodybuilder) and power lifter in the 50's. He gave me the basics which I still use to this day on training and which have never failed to produce results.

Bottom line: Don't bench to the neck. There's no reason to. The movement is just as productive if you bring the bar down to the nipple line or slightly below - and IMHO its safer. Your mileage may vary. Laughing



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